Voices of Middle-Earth: 35. Side by Side

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35. Side by Side

Our favorite dwarf speaks....mostly movie-based.

~Side by Side~

What about side by side with a friend?
Aye, I could do that.

What more can I say
of the one thing yet unknown
to me? This time
I think he'll win.
And here I am
side by side with you
and if it is to be
as someday it must
then surely there are
worse ways to die.
Better than to wither
away with cold age
in a shivering bed
or to succumb to the fury
of ravaging disease
that seeks to level
all vestiges of character
with the relentless shafts
of pain and madness
or to fall into the pits
of senseless accident
or folly. Aye, if Death
must come, and so it must,
then there are worse ways
than to fall fighting
side by side with a friend;
I can do that.

True, I'll never know
the joys of wife and fireside
of watching the bairns
roll and laugh on the hearth
while the bread bakes sweetly
and the rain falls unheeded
on the golden thatch;
such is not for the likes of me.
But, so be it. I laugh
at the face Death shows me;
warrior that I am, thinks he
that he can stare me down?
Let him do his worst!
I spit at him.
I bite my thumb. I sneer!
Which is not to say
I face him without fear
not merely of the spear
or the axe that hews
the flesh off my bones
like the bark from a tree
or the fire that may roast me
as a pheasant on a spit;
but also of the unknown
that already looms above
as a purple shapeless cloud
with all blackness behind.

I'll not lie and say
I face these things without
a qualm.  I say only
that there be worse ways,
if one must die, than this, knowing
the fate of the entire world
lies in my keeping, as a golden
lock of hair, and I
have been chosen to stand
side by side with friends.
I wish only
that I might know
what is to come after, and
if I shall revel in the prospect
of endless peace and light
or if I shall secretly long
for the savor of smoke and blood.
But I should only rejoice
in the knowledge
that if I must die
then I will fall side by side
with companions who have moved in
their arms and hearts linked
irrevocably with mine.
Very well, I shall rejoice
if I must.
This I can do!

So...what are we waiting for?


This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Armariel

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: Multi-Age

Genre: Poetry

Rating: General

Last Updated: 04/19/11

Original Post: 01/09/05

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